The Young Farmer Discussion Meet (sponsored by John Deere) is a free-wheeling discussion of ag topics, as if you are sitting around the table discussing a problem. The Discussion Meet helps you build communication skills, develop an understanding of important ag issues and explore how to pool knowledge to solve problems. Successful participants are productive thinkers rather than emotional persuaders, help the group create ways to implement the solutions discussed, and highlight Farm Bureau’s involvement in those actions.
The two rounds of Discussion Meet competition take place on Saturday, February 3 (3:00 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.). Registration closes as 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Sign up is limited to 60 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. You must be 35 years or younger as of January 31, 2019 and be a regular member in good standing of your county Farm Bureau to participate.
Participants compete in two rounds, each addressing one of the questions listed below. Three to seven young farmers participate in each room. The format is a 30-second opening statement, 25 minutes of group discussion, and a 60-second closing statement.
1. Trade is vital to Iowa farmers as it opens markets for commodities. Farm Bureau policy supports expanding existing markets and opening new markets. What role do farmers have in helping lawmakers and the general public understand the importance of trade to agriculture and to Iowa’s economy?
2. Livestock is a vital part of Iowa’s economy, specifically in rural Iowa. What can Farm Bureau do to help minimize resistance to modern livestock production and build trust and understanding around modern livestock farming? What can young farmers do? Consider:
- Animal welfare
- Environmental rules
- Manure as fertilizer
- Economic impact
3. What role should Farm Bureau play in engaging consumers and media to counter some of the myths and misunderstandings about modern agriculture? What role should young farmers play? Consider:
- Water quality and conservation
- Food labeling and production
- Animal welfare
Contestants are judged on cooperative attitude, problem solving, delivery, problem analysis and opening and closing statements. Based on cumulative ranking, the top eight finalists (and two alternates) will be determined.
Return to young farmer conference